If you have chosen not to have a breast reconstruction after your mastectomy, you may be considering wearing breast prostheses. Breast forms can help women to feel comfortable following surgery by enhancing your breast shape giving you balance and symmetry. But, for many women choosing the right breast forms can be a challenge. So, to help you get started, here are our helpful tips on choosing a prosthesis after breast cancer surgery.
Consult a Trained Fitter
The best way to find the right breast forms for your needs is to see a professional. A certified and trained fitter understands your body and needs after surgery.
During a fitting, you will discuss your surgery and the look you aim to achieve by wearing breast forms. Your fitter will then assess the condition of the skin around the surgical site, and examine any remaining breast tissue.
Your fitter will take measurements to find the exact size and shape breast form you need, then make some recommendations.
The ideal time to schedule a fitting is approximately 4-6 weeks after surgery to allow your body time to heal and for any swelling to reduce. Consult your doctor before wearing a breast form to ensure that your body has healed sufficiently.
Try on As Many Styles as Possible
A professional fitting is the perfect opportunity to try on as many styles of breast form as possible. Wear a tight fitting top when trying on breast forms as this can give you a better idea of how the breast forms contour to your body.
If there are any suggestions that you don’t like, speak up and let your fitter know. Breast forms are designed to last for years so you want to find a style that is comfortable and suits your body.
Choose the Right Type for Your Body
Comfort after surgery is all about finding the right type of breast form for your body. There are several styles of breast forms which all come in different shapes and sizes to suit different body types. Some common types of breast prosthesis include:
Full breast forms
Full breast forms if you have had your whole breast removed. They come in a range of shapes to match your other breast such as teardrop, oval or triangular.
Partial breast forms
If you have had breast conserving surgery or only had part of a breast removed, a partial breast form can add extra volume to balance your silhouette. Asymmetrical partial forms are worn on a specific side of the body, and often feature a winged designed to contour to your chest wall.
Custom made breast forms
Custom made breast forms are the best option for the most comfortable and natural fit. A mold is made of your chest so that the breast prosthesis contours to your body.
Breast prostheses are made from different types of materials. Each style offers different benefits depending on your needs.
Silicone breast forms are ideal for achieving the look and feel of a natural breast. They are heavier than other breast forms, but are very easy to care for.
Foam or fiberfill
Foam breast forms are lightweight and the perfect option for wearing at home. They can also be worn almost immediately after surgery or while sleeping.
Swim forms are made from waterproof and UV resistant material with an ultra lightweight construction so they can be used in the water without becoming water-logged.
Buy a Mastectomy Bra
Wearing a regular bra is not recommended after mastectomy surgery. Underwires and fabrics can irritate sensitive skin around the surgical site, and the cups are not designed to hold breast forms.
When choosing a prosthesis after surgery, get fitted for a mastectomy bra as well. Mastectomy bras are specifically designed to enhance your shape and comfort after surgery.
They feature pockets to hold breast forms sewn directly inside the bra cup. They also have extra wide bra bands and adjustable straps so you can create a custom fit for your body. Most mastectomy bras are made from specialized fabric that are gentle to sensitive skin to prevent irritation.
Check with Your Insurance Company
Breast forms and mastectomy bras are a worthwhile investment for your health and comfort, however, many patients wonder whether the cost of these mastectomy essentials are covered by insurance.
Most health providers cover some of the cost of buying breast prostheses and mastectomy bras if you have a qualifying prescription from your doctor. Check with your insurance company as your policy may only cover part of the cost, or limit the number of breast prostheses covered.
A breast prosthesis can help you adjust to life after surgery more easily, but you need to find the right breast forms and mastectomy bras for your body. Call us at A Fitting Experience Mastectomy Shoppe at (954)-468-8904 for a professional fitting and to find out more about our range of breast forms and mastectomy bras available.